In The Beginning . . .
by Helen Dobbs Wildman
There Was "Dobbs Cottages"
The business was started by my paternal grandmother and grandfather in about 1900 when they built Minglewood for their personal summer home and offered my grandmother's uncle's hunting lodge for rent. Over time, they built other houses in the field along the lake and my grandfather planted white pines between each of the houses. Cherrybank, Minglewood, Tuckaway (which eventually became their home and office) Ripple Bay, Mirror Cove, Fernwood and Pinebrook ... I remember there was a sign on the corner of River Road (a dirt road) and Route 73 in Severance which read "Dobbs Cottages."
and then there was Lake Paradox Club
After my grandfather passed away my mother and father ran the business and my father named it "Lake Paradox Club". The wooden rowboats gave way to 12 foot aluminum boats, three four-horsepower outboards were purchased, we had wood and canvas canoes, and he added several Alcort Sailfish to our fleet, taught sailing and arranged for Sailfish races. My father also taught archery, another love of his. The pines my grandfather had planted between the houses grew taller and taller. We raked pine needles and became a forest.
To meet the needs of today we have four Sunfish (the Sailfish are gone), larger aluminum boats (14 foot) with larger motors (6HP), kayaks, and aluminum canoes. The old cedar staked docks have been replaced with wooden docks with aluminum staging, the clay tennis court became an asphalt court, and we added a baseball field. Reluctantly we were forced to cut down most of the white pines my grandfather had planted. At sixty or seventy years of age they had reached dangerous heights and in wind storms they several times fell on houses. We planted shrubs and flowers and the birds and butterflies came back.
Today we have gooseberries, black currants and flowers growing in the gardens between the houses. We rake a lot of leaves and do a lot of weeding. The tennis court is asphalt, not clay. My grandfather's golf course has disappeared, preempted by the municipal course. My childhood memories of delivering ice to the houses from our ice house with my grandfather, or crossing the brook to watch him start the single cylinder pump for the water system are things of the past. I can still remember the sound of that pump in the mornings ka-chunk, ka-chunk or smell the sawdust in the ice house where i could play in the coolness. My children's memories are different from mine as are those of our guests, but we treasure all the memories because creating vacation memories is our business.
Lake Paradox Club Today
Still a Family Tradition
Kelley's daughter, Kelley Waleski (AKA "Tina") has moved back to Severance with her husband, Jess Waleski. They have taken over management of Lake Paradox Club with their daughter Gwen. They are living in the house named "Back Beyond" at 79 River Road. My daughters Kelley and Kasey, my grandson Anthony (AKA Kyle) and my granddaughter "Tina" are fourth and fifth generation members of the family who will be working on the property. Kasey contributes to our operation by being our resident pet sitter or walker for guests and an occasional web techie. Kelley DeVita (my daughter) works restoring our porch chairs and sewing cot covers and pillows for the houses. In addition to her other skills, Kelley is a massage therapist licensed in the State of New York. You can make an appointment for a massage while you are here if you wish! Kelley's massage parlor is in the Post Office building at 229 US Rt. 74 here in Severance. Her cell phone number is (802) 522-9776. Aided by our indefatigable housekeeper, Danielle, you will see more and more of the Waleskis as this new generation takes over.